from the blurring-boundaries dept
If you're in any business that relies on "advertising" for revenue, you need to stop thinking of it as advertising -- and start realizing that advertising and content are the same thing
. All traditional "advertising" is content -- and if you want anyone to pay attention to it, it had better be good content. At the same time, all traditional "content" is advertising -- it's just a question of what
it's advertising. But as more companies recognize this, we're going to see an increasingly blurry line between advertising and content. While some purists decry this situation, they shouldn't worry so much. It will improve both the overall quality of the "content" that you see all the time in two ways: it will allow for better financing of that content and it makes sure that the formerly "bad" advertising content isn't sustainable and goes away.
Reader James Thomas sends in an example of this blurring of the lines that occurred recently with Saturday Night Live. Apparently, on the SNL the night before the Superbowl, there were three skits "MacGruber" skits (a parody of the popular classic TV show MacGyver) each of which had a totally over-the-top promotion of Pepsi
. That part may seem like traditional product placement (though, oddly over the top), but the interesting part was that the next night, during the Superbowl, NBC actually showed one of those sketches during a commercial break. In other words, the sketch itself was then repurposed as "commercial" content -- thus blurring the lines completely. I'm not sure how effective this was (personally, I don't find the MacGruber skits funny at all), but it does demonstrate some of how things are changing. If you did the same thing with content that actually was
enjoyable, I could see it getting a much better reaction.